Victoria Group on Regional Agribusiness Conference “Across the Field to Europe”
The second regional agro-business conference “Across the Field to Europe” was held on March 15 within the 83rd holding of the International Agricultural Fair in Novi Sad. The central topic was the possibilities of expansion of trade and cooperation in the regional agro-business and using pre-accession IPARD funds.
The opening speeches were made by relevant ministers, prof. Snežana Bogosavljević Bošković, PhD and prof. Davor Romić, PhD, president of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce Marko Čadež and the vice president of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, Ivan Škorić. On this occasion, it was mentioned that the exchange of goods between these two countries amounts to nearly EUR 240 million.
The Serbian minister of agriculture pointed out the significance of the regional cooperation, noting that connecting agro-business companies from the region do not only provide sufficient supplies for this market, but also contribute to a better appearance on the world market. Prof. Snežana Bogosavljević, PhD said that the Croatian experience in negotiations in the field of agriculture and rural development is of great help to Serbia, especially because of the similar production structure, adding that “the Serbian government is intensively working on creating a favorable business environment for developing the food industry, regarding that the strong industry requires a strong institutional base, especially if one has in mind the potential of this sector in Serbia and its export capabilities”.
Nikola Vujačić, executive director and director of operations in the Victoria Group, participated in the first panel called “Experiences of Agro-business Leaders in the Region” which gathered some of the biggest Serbian and Croatian companies from this sector. Stating that the Victoria Group has been present on the European market for 15 years, Vujačić said that big investments are responsible for competitiveness on this market. “Today, we export over 50 per cent of our production to 50 countries around the world, with up to 80 per cent to the European Union. Thanks to investments that reached over EUR 200 million in last decade, our companies, Sojaprotein and Victoriaoil, may respond to high world market requests, both regarding quality and efficiency”.
Besides Nikola Vujačić, participants in the discussion were: Milorad Sredanović, vice president for agriculture at Delta Holdinga; Žarko Galetin, director of Produktna Berza Novi Sad; Ljerka Puljić, member of the Supervisory Board of Agrokor Koncern; Olivija Jakupec, member of managerial staff at Podravka; and Miroslav Božić, adviser of managerial staff at the Viro sugar factory.
The conference “Across the Field to Europe” was organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Serbia, the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Croatia, the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce and the portal Agrobiz.hr.
Foto: Morana Begač/Agrobiz